Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!
The A’s have plenty of problems, but you can’t count Brent Rooker among them. He was already a bright spot in the batting order coming into this week’s series against the Angels, during which The Rook went positively supernova.
Rooker went a respectable-but-not-exceptional 4-for-15 in the four game series in Anaheim, but all four hits were for extra bases, and three of them left the yard. Throw in four bases on balls, and you’ve got something worth writing home about—or at least worth calling out here on AN.
26 games into the 2023 season, Rooker is on pace to hit 43 home runs; he leads the A’s with seven dingers and tops his squad in batting average, on base percentage, slugging, OPS, and RBIs, to boot.
- Rooker, 2023: .305/.417/.695, 72 PA, 206 wRC+, 7 HR, 16.7% BB, 18.1% Ks
That’s exceptional performance for any hitter, let alone one who was claimed off waivers in February after being DFA’d by the Royals, who are in fierce competition with the A’s for the league’s worst record. Granted, Rooker’s bat will surely cool off to some degree at some point, but if the 28-year-old holds anywhere near this pace, his acquisition will be worth some serious bragging rights for the A’s front office.
Meanwhile, the A’s entered Thursday with a near-average wRC+ of 95, so it is clearly the team’s pitching—headlined by an ERA of 8.01—that is to blame for a wretched 5-21 record one month into the season. The White Sox have the second worst ERA in MLB with a mark of 5.75. I’m not going to dust off my statistics textbook and do the calculations, but I’d guess that puts A’s pitching at least two standard deviations below everyone else.
Anywho: keep mashing, Brent Rooker! And have a wonderful weekend, AN.
- Hardin: A’s fall to Angels in wild series finale
- Willis: A’s activate Domingo Acevedo from injured list, option Luis Medina to Triple A
- Gallegos: Not even Ohtani can slow Rooker’s red-hot bat
- Rosenthal: Rob Manfred’s support of A’s owner is another inelegant chapter in his reign ($)
- Drellich: As A’s pursue Las Vegas stadium, an expert cautions against using tax dollars: Q&A ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Blum: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani narrowly misses historic cycle on deep flyout vs. Athletics ($)
- Blum: Angels concerned about ‘enhanced-grip’ ball used at Double-A affiliate ($)
- Franco: Kenta Maeda Diagnosed With Muscle Strain In Forearm/Elbow Area
- McDonald: White Sox Notes: Anderson, Alberto, Crochet, Hendriks, Moncada
- Adams: Dick Groat Passes Away
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Rucinski’s return draws near.
Drew Rucinski came away feeling healthy from his bullpen session. A’s will look to activate him at some point this weekend. Friday’s starter remains TBA for A’s.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 27, 2023
Rooker denied Ohtani a record-setting streak.
Brent Rooker, (who broke up Patrick Sandoval's 9th inning no-hit bid in Minnesota in 2021), ended Shohei Ohtani's streak of 35.0 consecutive scoreless innings at Angel Stadium— Matt Birch (@MattBirch12) April 27, 2023
It's the second-longest streak in the ballpark's history (36.2 IP - Mark Clear in 1979)
A’S RECENT MOVES: RHP Domingo Acevedo off A’s IL, RHP Luis Medina to LV, OF Ramon Laureano to LV on rehab, RHP Miguel Romero to LV Player Development List, 1B Dermis Garcia cleared waivers/outrighted to LV…https://t.co/joKXkyUAPy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) April 28, 2023
Medina’s debut enshrined in Anaheim.
Luis Medina makes the baseball wall of Debuts at Angel Stadium (since 2020) pic.twitter.com/DLC9bu3WVQ— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 27, 2023
Good stuff happening in Triple-A.
RF Ramon Laureano went 3 for 3 with a double and exited in the 6th inning of his first rehab game with Triple-A @AviatorsLV tonight. 2B Zack Gelof is 3 for 3 with a HR, a triple & 4 RBIs, and SS Nick Allen is 3 for 4 with 2 doubles. Vegas up 8-5 in the 8th.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) April 28, 2023
Kotsay to Medina.
Mark Kotsay's message to Luis Medina heading back to Triple-A: "Continue refining location. He’s got the tools to pitch here and the makeup. There was some fire in him. He wasn’t happy. He didn’t come in saying it was great. It was more, ‘I want to win.’ You want guys like that.”— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) April 27, 2023
Miller’s got the best stuff.
Rookie SP Stuff+ leaders (per @enosarris):— Underdog MLB (@Underdog__MLB) April 27, 2023
Mason Miller - 127
Taj Bradley - 121
Louie Varland - 115
Calvin Faucher - 113
Hunter Brown - 108
Logan Allen - 107
Shintaro Fujinami - 107
Grayson Rodriguez - 103
Hayden Wesneski - 101
Sonny was my favorite A for a couple of years. And then it was Chapman. Then Murph.
Sonny Gray leads MLB in ERA (0.62)— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) April 27, 2023
Matt Chapman (209), Max Muncy (194) and Sean Murphy (174) rank in the top 10 in wRC+ pic.twitter.com/Nqr15kVsgR